Researchers believe Twitter is downplaying spread of fake accounts on its platform

Researchers believe Twitter is downplaying the spread of fake accounts on its platform and the actual number could be three times higher.

In its report, Twitter had said that false or spam accounts make up less than 5 per cent of its user base.

However, the microblogging platform did not specify how that figure accounted for the automated, parody, and pseudonymous profiles.

According to Dan Brahmy, CEO of the Israeli tech company Cyabra which uses machine learning to identify fake accounts, “They have underestimated that number.” 

A recent study conducted by a firm that monitors online conversations, estimated automated accounts or bots account tp nearly 9 to 15 per cent of the millions of Twitter profiles.

In a statement, Cyabra estimated the percentage of inauthentic Twitter profiles at 13.7 per cent.

Twitter bans accounts when the company determines that its purpose is to “deceive or manipulate others” by, for example, engaging in scams, coordinating abuse campaigns, or artificially inflating engagement.

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Billionaire Elon Musk, who had proposed a $44 billion cash deal to buy Twitter, announced on Friday that the deal is on hold while he sought information about the number of phony Twitter accounts.

Twitter has gotten more aggressive at taking down these types of inauthentic accounts, though the nature of the threat is evolving and harder to quantify as per Filippo Menczer, a researcher from Indiana University’s Observatory on social media.

A company called Smyte, which specialises in spam prevention, safety, and security was acquired by Twitter in 2018 to improve the health of the platform.

(With inputs from agencies)

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